It is the end of the road for headteachers?

When I started my career in education 2 decades ago, the top rung of the career ladder was headship.

This was a time where new teachers would apply to Local Authority “pools” and schools recruiting would go to the pool to select candidates. Clearly times have changed.

The pools dried up long ago.

NQTs no longer exist. ECTs do a 2-year induction period instead of one.

Local Authority centralised training and services are fragmented or non-existent.

Cluster schools are made up very differently now there are Multi Academy Trusts, Federations and Free Schools joining the mix.

And the headteacher role is no longer the end of the road.

For deputies who wish to progress further, they have options of Head of School, Headteacher or Principal roles. Beyond that, there is Executive Head roles (along with countless alternative roles) as the face of education continues to change.

Yet although there are more opportunities than ever before, there are recruitment challenges to find professionals to fill them.

And if there’s not the pools being available coming into the profession (and teachers staying!), then it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to recognise there is a shortage in leadership roles, too.

I can’t help wondering if we are heading for a system of largely unqualified teachers in school being led by an overstretched executive head trying to juggle multiple schools because there’s not the personnel left to recruit.

What is your experience?

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